On 20 August 2021, the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) granted authorisation for our Long-Term Coastal Protection Scheme.

DEDEAT received one Appeal against the approval granted. In terms of the Environmental Regulations, this Appeal suspended the authorisation granted.

On 7 April 2022, the Appeal was dismissed. This essentially upheld the initial authorisation granted. Accordingly, the authorisation and timeframes in the said authorisation became effective again from 7 April 2022.

Our Long-Term Coastal Protection Scheme comprises beach nourishment, which entails dredging sand onto the beach to create a 40-metre wide beach, and a set of groynes. The wider beach dissipates the energy of the waves and protects the properties and infrastructure along St Francis Bay Beach. The groynes are rock structures that will be constructed perpendicular to the coastline. Currently, sand is continuously lost due to a northward drift along the coastline. The groynes will reduce the loss of sand nourished onto the beach. Sand will be dredged from the Kromme River, which will restore the river’s navigability.

The next two steps in the process are to obtain sufficient funding for the project and then implementation.

We need approximately R60 million to do Phase 1, which is the spit area and includes two groynes, and approximately R93 million to do Phases 1 and 2 simultaneously. Phase 2, which provides for one groyne, will restore the main beach. We will do our best to raise sufficient funding to simultaneously do the spit area and the main beach area. We currently have approximately R35 million, of which approximately R20 million was raised through the SRA Levies. We will continue to build up our funding from the levy.

We will now embark on a funding drive to accelerate the implementation of the project. Several property owners have offered to contribute funding to accelerate the project. More information in this regard and the envisaged timeline of the project will be communicated through further SFPO newsletters.